I’ll say this about blogging: for an activity undertaken on your own, in front of a computer, you meet the best people. Of course “meet” is a relative term. You may not actually physically meet a blogging buddy, but sometimes you get to know them quite well all the same.
Still, what were the odds that blogging would lead me to a Newfoundlander (luh) who attended the same high school as me? (obviously years later, when they probably had electricity and blackboards and shit) Someone who knew and worked in the same hospital as a good friend of mine? Someone who was living the ex-pat life across the English Channel, a mere hop, ship and jump away?
But find her I did and Finder* I became. Of course I’m talking about Bobbi French, a Newfoundlander who was working as a psychiatrist in Halifax. Burned out after fifteen stress filled years, she chucked it in, sold up, moved to France and wrote a very excellent book about it.
As well as being the name of her hilarious blog, Finding Me In France is the title for Bobbi’s book, a chronicle of her first year abroad. Bobbi’s writing is witty and wonderful – it has alternately moved me to tears and made me laugh til my head hurt. It’s hard to choose a favourite anecdote from the book – Bobbi’s struggle to find vocabulary for feminine hygiene products at the pharmacy? The perils of French kissing? Or a session on the couch in which the retired psychiatrist shrinks her own brain? All are hilariously detailed. This ex-medic’s book demonstrates that laughter truly is the best medicine.
But this book goes beyond humour. Bobbi’s analysis of her new life – with topics as diverse as her abandonment of consumerism, her loss of financial independence, and the periodic second guessing of her decision – is insightful and thought-provoking. The book is plein de photos - petites cartes postales from Semur en Auxois showing its beautiful architecture and gardens, its citizens and most importantly, its food. (I swear I gained weight just looking at the pastries.) These gorgeous shots were all taken by Bobbi and her husband Neil. That last sentence also works as “These shots were all taken by gorgeous Bobbi and her gorgeous husband.” (I know. How annoying is that?)
If you didn’t want to move to France before, trust me after reading this bijou of a book, you will. Honey?? I have a great idea! Are the passports up to date?
Finders are followers of Bobbi’s blog.